The “Hang-it-all” coat rack by Charles and Ray Eames is in my eyes a genius piece of design. For one it’s playful and lighthearted, and two it serves it’s function well, to hang coats, hats and garments. But there’s a bigger concept and philosophy at play, these simple hooks and brightly-coloured wooden spheres were aimed at encouraging children to hang up all of their things instead of dropping them on the floor or laying them around. This “purpose” as such was really the start of all Charles and Rays ideas, with Charles usually carrying the function and Ray with her artistic ability. For example on this piece where the distance between the spheres always remains the same so it can be extended as required, and Ray with the playful proportions of the balls and also the vibrant colours which were all made to be in certain positions throughout the wire formation. This steel wire is made using the same technology that the Eames developed for their famous wire-base chairs and tables.
Although over the years we’ve seen re-productions of these pieces thanks to Vitra, with different coloured balls such as brown and black. To me the concept has largely stayed the same, and although these may be classed as more “adult” it’s still such a fun piece with lots of personality and vigour. Today I have put together a selection of imagery that I thought summarised the piece in it’s environment thanks to Herman Miller and Vitra who do some great case study imagery. I liked how they portrayed this piece and showcased how it was art but very much functional in it’s own right. I’m not usually into bright and bold things but this sort of made sense and would be a perfect object for a family home, just shows the parents creativity and thoughtfulness.